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And the winner is... the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program
Clayton Heights Secondary has bested its rival in a good-natured battle to collect the most donations for the 2013 Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Campaign.
Late last month, students at Clayton Heights and Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary declared a formal contest to see which school could collect the most non-perishable food items for the program, which will distribute food hampers to several hundred families and individuals on Saturday (Dec. 14).
Clayton Heights historically leads the pack in terms of donations from schools for the program, but Lord Tweedsmuir student council co-president John Wu thought the Panthers had a decent chance overtaking the Night Riders.
This year, despite valiant efforts by Tweedsmuir, the proud record of Clayton Heights remains intact.
The final score is Clayton Heights 9,308 items, and Tweedsmuir 4,857.
"Unfortunately, my school lost," said Wu. "But, as a community we collected nearly 15,000 items, which I'll say is definitely a win for both schools!"
Tweedsmuir doubled the amount of donations it collected last year for the program, "a pretty good step up!" Wu noted.
The battle comes to an end just as the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program gears up for hamper pick up day.
This Saturday (Dec. 14), recipients will come to Pacific Community Church at 5337 180 Street in Cloverdale to pick up their hampers. They contain a mix of fresh groceries and non-perishable food items – enough food to last a couple of weeks.
Children and youths will also pick out Christmas gifts.
Meantime, the church is a hive of activity as volunteers work inside the spacious warehouse to assemble the hampers in time.
Kevin Lunder, who acts as program lead along with his wife, Trish, sounded confident that donations from the community will meet this year's need, even though demand from applicants is up.
"The support this year has been overwhelming," he said earlier this week.
Cloverdale's two high schools weren't the only supporters drumming up donations for the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program.
Last weekend, Hillcrest Village Shopping Centre hosted Cloverdale Community Cares, a food drive in partnership with Surrey RCMP and Surrey Fire Services, who asked the public to help 'Pack the Police Car' with donations.
At events in Cloverdale and Surrey, the first responders brought in over 500 pounds of food and $900 in cash for the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program and the Surrey Food Bank.
Recently, the Surrey RCMP's youth unit helped local high school students serve Christmas dinners to low income families, thanks to a partnership with the Surrey Christmas Bureau.